Why Sacramento Is The Capital Of California

Updated on May 5, 2018
Sacramento: The Capital Of California
Sacramento: The Capital Of California

Sacramento?

Ask any grade school student in New York or Chicago what City is the capital of California; most would likely say Los Angeles or San Francisco. As amazing as it may seem, however, the Capitol of California is the City of Sacramento.  Located within the Central Valley, Sacramento is  California's seventh most populous city and certainly is not the most well known city in the State. So the question most people ask when they learn Sacramento is California's Capitol City:  Why?

Sacramento: Circa 1849
Sacramento: Circa 1849

Settlement Of Sacramento

The history of the City of Sacramento is as old as the State of California itself. The area that would eventually become the City of Sacramento was originally settled by John Sutter. Sutter built Sutter's Fort  in the heart of what is today Downtown Sacramento.  Sutter's Fort was used as a trading colony and military stockade. The Fort was used to distribute the fruits, vegetables and other resources that were found in the area to Sacramento's earliest settlers. Sutter also built mills in the nearby foothills. It was at one of these mills in what is now Coloma where John Marshall, a Sutter employee, found gold in a stream in 1849.

Sutter's Fort Stills Stands In Downtown Sacramento
Sutter's Fort Stills Stands In Downtown Sacramento

Gold!

Around the time Marshall screamed Eureka, John Sutter's son, John Sutter Jr. was planning to make Sacramento a City. The City of Sacramento was incorporated in 1849 and was the first incorporated City in the State of California. Due to Sacramento's location at the base of the foothills filled with Gold and only ninety miles inland from San Francisco, Sacramento was a major distribution center and center of Gold Rush activities. This is the reason Sacramento was the starting point of the First Transcontinental Railroad. Most of the people who came to California searching for fortune went through Sacramento. Further, the businesses and services that came to California along with the miners settled in Sacramento.

Sacramento Became The Capital And The Building Was Finished In 1874
Sacramento Became The Capital And The Building Was Finished In 1874
The State Capital Today
The State Capital Today

Sacramento Becomes The Capital

Originally, Monterey was chosen as the Capital of California.  However, after Monterey hosted California's Consitutional Convention in 1849 and California was admiited as a State of the United States, the Capital was moved.  San Jose was first chosen as the Capital City, then Vallejo and then Benicia.  In 1854, the Capital was moved again, this time to Sacramento.  And Sacramento was where it remained. 

Sacramento was a logical choice for the Capital of California. First, because of the Gold Rush, Sacramento had become the destination point for the new settlers coming to California to strike it rich. With the gold miners came shopkeepers, blacksmiths, and other service related entrepreneurs that gave the City an economic base.

Second, Sacramento, unlike the other temporary Capitals was not near the ocean so there was little chance of invasion. However, Sacramento's proximity to rivers that led to San Francisco and other ports allowed the City to engage in the economy both on land and at sea.

Last, many of the most powerful people in the newly formed State of California were in Sacramento. John Sutter and John Marshall helped found the City. The City had already been planned, street grids were completed, and it already had a government in place. In Sacramento no city had to be formed. Rather, the Capital could be moved into an area that had already been established.

Sacramento Today
Sacramento Today

Sacramento Today

The California State Capital Building remains the the centerpiece of Downtown Sacramento. Around the Capital the buildings housing the State Government have risen to accommodate the growth of the state bureaucracy. The City of Sacramento has grown as well and still strives to be considered a big city comparable to Los Angeles and San Francisco. But as the other cities have all the perks and all the problems of big cities, Sacramento remains a small town at heart proud to house the center of government in California.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Cj dunkins 

      4 weeks ago

      Becoming a shit hole. Too many politicians who only.have their own agenda at heart..Thdy fleece the people who live there. .Use to be a nice place. I know I have lived here for 68 years

    • profile image

      Piper 

      3 months ago

      not sure about it still!

    • profile image

      oof_its_nae 

      7 months ago

      thank you i really needed is for my paper im writing

    • profile image

      bgpappa 

      7 months ago

      THank you all for the comments

    • profile image

      jhewjksdk 

      10 months ago

      hdfghjfegtuefguiwfgiued

    • profile image

      lydia schneeweis 

      10 months ago

      hi thx sooo much for the info on sacramento it was so helpful

    • profile image

      Wilson 

      15 months ago

      When I first saw Sacramento personally and learned that it is the capital, I couldn't help wondering why such a small town looking city is the capital without the alive snd busy atmosphere of San Francisco or Los Angeles. It looks like a town! A boring town.

    • profile image

      owlschool 

      22 months ago

      good info my school kids learned alot

    • profile image

      bullhead 

      2 years ago

      bullhead

    • profile image

      hakeemelamin2001 

      2 years ago

      Thanks man. I never thought Sacramento had so much info to why it is the capital. But thanks to you I now know. keep up the good work bro.

    • profile image

      vinnie 

      2 years ago

      thx for the stuff i really needed the info

    • profile image

      x.r. 

      3 years ago

      Beautiful piece. You should do one on all the major cities of california.

    • profile image

      Lizabeth. 

      4 years ago

      Love on Ohio. Love That California Capital!! Great city.....great people.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      4 years ago from Sacramento, California

      LA then wasn't what LA is now. Good a long time for LA to become a big city. Sacramento was already founded, organized, and both connected to the riverways but far enough away for defense.

    • profile image

      Michael 

      4 years ago

      i still dont understand why sacramento is the capital of california instead of los angeles

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      4 years ago from Sacramento, California

      You are welcome?

    • profile image

      4 years ago

      gosh thanks!!!!!!

    • profile image

      kelly 

      5 years ago

      any chance you can post your name?? I'd like to use this info for a paper but I need to site it...I can just use the website I guess but being able to link it directly to an actual person would make it more credible. I hope you get this. Thanks

    • profile image

      pandaface 

      5 years ago

      thanks for the info

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      5 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Ok, would you like to be more specific?

      Thanks for stopping by

    • profile image

      Lola 

      5 years ago

      Still don't get it

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks so much awesome.

    • profile image

      AwesomeM 

      6 years ago

      Awesome read! As a proud Sacramentan, its not a bad city to live in. You're on point on the "small town at heart," very true. Great job!

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks for reading.

    • profile image

      bigeyguy 

      6 years ago

      thanks for helping

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      No problem, and thanks for such kind words. There is great historical sites in Northern California, and Sacramento is just the start.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      staci141 

      6 years ago

      This is a great article on Sacramento (and why it is the capital of California.) Being a northern Californian and my husband a transplant from Boston, Mass, I've always felt responsible for relaying historical facts about this region. For the most part, I had surmised and embellished upon details of our state's early history, but always wanted to know for certain. My entire family was delighted to hear new and interesting trivia!

      Thanks for the lesson.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      tom boy girl 

      7 years ago

      I am doing California for a state project so recommend this toanyone else you know. Well the site of course

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      thanks for reading

    • profile image

      blah bla 

      8 years ago

      i never new

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Its not forsaken, just not cosmopolitan.

      Thanks for reading.

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 

      8 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      I did always ask myself why they would choose such a forsaken country to put a capital in, now I know. Thanks for the information.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      thanks for the comment

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks for reading. Yes I do, I live about 15 minutes outside Sacramento. Most of the area is very beautiful.

    • wildfremd profile image

      wildfremd 

      9 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Great info! Do you live in the sacramento area? It's so beautiful there....

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Coloma!  I am a proud member of the class of 1973! 

      Of Coloma . . . Michigan.  Thanks, I enjoyed the history of Sacramento. 

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      Writer Rider 

      9 years ago

      Sacramento where? Never heard of it (sarcasm intended). To me Los Angeles should be the capital of California.

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 

      9 years ago from Free and running....

      it was out on video the same day as the theatrical release

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      lol, did the last one make $100,000

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 

      9 years ago from Free and running....

      I guess we'll get started making the next terminator movie.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      No way, he never officially moved here so you get him back. And his $100,000 Cigar tent too.

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 

      9 years ago from Free and running....

      You can keep Arnold in the deal.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      lol, there are a lot of people that say that. But it is what it is. And Sacramento has a pretty interesting history.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 

      9 years ago from Free and running....

      sacramento should only be the capital of NoCal. SoCal should be its own state.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR

      bgpappa 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      thanks for reading.

    • EcoAsh profile image

      EcoAsh 

      9 years ago from Hemet

      Nice hub! I have always wondered why Sacramneto was the capital.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)